Monday, July 20, 2009

Motivational Speeches

In the morning, since SiM wasn't feeling well, I told him he won't be going to camp. Apparently, he didn't hear the whole sentence because he responded with " I don't want to go to camp".
"I don't like it!" was SiM's short reply.

A couple of minutes later, during my daily creative-writing moment, aka composition of mitzva notes I overheard the following conversation between Eh and SiM.
S: We are writing you mitzva notes for camp.
E: I don't like camp.
S: Why? Camp is So much fun!

Friday, July 17, 2009


In the nursing homes, every so often, one comes upon a resident who has ' no know family'. Sometimes, the resident's family members don't want anything to do with the resident, sometimes, it's the other way around. Then there are other reasons, but the result it always the same. When the resident moves on to the next world, his/her only family is nursing home staff.

A few days ago, a resident who was 101 ( one hundred and one) years old passed away suddenly, overnight. One day, he was wheeling himself around in a wheelchair and the next morning he came up on the list of expirations. This resident had no known family.

When the social worker announced the date and time of his funeral, I told myself I'll go. I thought the man must've done something right in his life if he got to live til 101. And, I also remembered how I missed a funeral of another resident and the regret I felt about it. This was my opportunity to make things right, my chance to do tshuva.

On the day of the funeral, the social worker reminded everyone of the place and time, 12pm, as well as 'he had no family' detail. I relayed the message to all my colleagues and when one asked if I plan on going I said "Of course. You can come with me, if you'd like."

At around 11:45, all of my coworkers showed up with fried chicken for lunch. My pizza-lunch-plans quickly became an urge to eat hot chicken wings, and off I drove (noticing in passing that a social worker and a nursing supervisor went out for a lunch date).

I took the wings to go as I had to do some erev shabbat shopping. As I headed back to work at 12:40, happily munching on the fries, I suddenly remembered the 12:00 funeral, good 20 minutes away. A horrible realization that I may have missed it struck me. It would take 20 minutes to get there, I have an appointment with someone @ 1 pm, the funeral may be over by then... I didn't really have a relationship with this resident like I did with the one from last year. But did I make the same careless mistake twice?

I decided to go for it, praying that I won't get pulled over for speeding. Thank Gd, after an uneventful ride I arrived to the parking lot of the funeral home. It was empty except for one car that was pulling out. Was I too late?

"You are late! But he's still there, go in, ' a nurse told me as she drove off. I think he was Jewish but his funeral took place in a catholic funeral home ( with all the consequences). I walked into a room, empty, except for an open casket. I paid my respects and said a prayer for a man who lived to be 101. And I walked back to my car feeling that I finally did right by my friend.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

How quickly we forget

A week ago (7/7/09 to be exact) one of my relatives returned to the States after long 'religious' travels all over the world, the last stop of which was the great country of Ukraine.
It's possible that one of the few readers that I may have actually hails from that great country and still has lots of fond memories associated with it.

My relative and family had lots of fond memories of that great country, too. However, as they observed strict dietary laws even in Ukraine, they seem to be delighted by things and foods that stopped exciting me looooong time ago (can it be 20 years?).

For one thing, they couldn't get enough of those mediocre tasting chocolate vanilla ice cream, aka Dixie Cups. Naively I asked them if they like such ice cream. They just said that in Ukraine, they used to get dairy ( chalav israel) ice cream one a year, for Shavuot ( holiday) and to eat ice cream whenever was a real treat! A real treat to eat Klein's Dixie Cups!

How many times did I pass by Dixie Cups without even thinking of them as Ice Cream? I'd be embarrassed to admit. However, the Dixie Cups are my new symbol of how quickly we get used to something that's good and forget how good we have it.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Birthday, America! 2009

Since it was shabbat, we didn't bbq.
Since I didn't think yesterday, Eh's patriotic dress was all stained ( from trying it on and keeping it on for the day:)) and not fit to be worn today.
Since I didn't have the insight to try it on before, my American flag bandanna didn't want to stay on my head.
Since I couldn't find my blue beads, my red-white-and-blue outfit became a red hat and white outfit combo ( which got me compliments for bravery -wearing all white with young kids around) but did little to bring my patriotic spirit across.
However, the American flag is proudly displayed in front of my door, I hear the fireworks from my window, and still feel the Independence day excitement in my heart!
Happy birthday, America!